July 14, 2024

Pilgrim winner Agate Road back in action for Dania Beach

Agate Road in The Pilgrim S. at Aqueduct
Agate Road wins the Pilgrim at Aqueduct (Photo by Coglianese Photography)

Agate Road, who captured the Pilgrim (G2) in October and then ran a creditable fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) the following month, will get an early start to his three-year-old campaign when he breaks outside of nine rivals on Saturday in the $125,000 Dania Beach S. at Gulfstream Park over a mile on the grass.

Despite the Grade 2 victory at Aqueduct, Agate Road is not necessarily a Dania Beach slam dunk. Air Recruit, who faded to seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf after unexpectedly setting the pace, has an opportunity to rebound with a reversion to stalk-and-pounce tactics that resulted in a dominating victory in the Laurel Futurity in late September.

The depth of the field is enhanced by Reminder and Palm Tree, both of whom missed in the Dec. 9 Pulpit S. at Gulfstream over a shorter distance. Typhoon Fury and Depiction are both eligible to improve off their respective stakes debuts, a third in the Central Park S. at Aqueduct by Typhoon Fury and a sixth in the Bourbon (G2) at Keeneland for Depiction.

Another to watch for is Edgartown, who bounced back from a photo-finish loss to Frontline Warrior to break his maiden at Churchill Downs last time for Graham Motion.

Earlier in the card, the $125,000 Ginger Brew S. for three-year-old fillies looks similarly competitive. Like stablemate Agate Road, Life’s an Audible fell short at the Breeders’ Cup, finishing five lengths adrift of Hard to Justify in the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). However, she had been only a half-length behind that rival in the Miss Grillo (G2) in her previous start.

Independenceavenue makes her stakes debut with a 2-for-3 record for trainer Arnaud Delacour, while Ozara looks to make it two straight at Gulfstream following a neck score in the Dec. 9 Wait a While S. Time to Dazzle enters off an allowance win over Gulfstream’s Tapeta surface, though she graduated over the grass at Woodbine at first asking. Waskesiu and San Pantaleo exit strong-looking maiden wins, while Yatta placed in both the Selima S. and Jimmy Durante (G3) last fall.